Tehran, March 15 - Leila Saiji Joudane, UNFPA Representative in the Islamic Republic of Iran, this week presented her credentials to His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister who in turn welcomed her new assignment and wished her a successful tenure.
Dr. Joudane noted that she comes to Iran at an opportune moment, just as UNFPA launches its new country programme, the first in the era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals that seek to ensure that ‘no one is left behind’.
Both sides highlighted the importance of issues related to population dynamics, including the need for Iran to take advantage of the demographic dividend, a socioeconomic window of opportunity currently available to the country.
In this context, Dr. Joudane reiterated that UNFPA would continue to support evidence-based policies and strategies to ensure that young persons’ potential is fulfilled, to help harness the demographic dividend.
At the same time, given that Iran like many other countries faces a rapidly graying population, UNFPA will support the Government to better address the challenges as well as realize the opportunities of population ageing, meeting the needs of older people and ensuring that they can contribute positively to society.
Dr. Joudane emphasised as well UNFPA’s continued support to the Ministry of Health to ensure that sexual and reproductive health services are available for all of the population, in an environment free of stigma and discrimination, a key tenet of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development which guides UNFPA’s work in Iran and globally.
On another front, Dr. Joudane noted that UNFPA encourages Iran to share its valuable experiences with other countries under the umbrella of South-South and triangular cooperation, where developing countries support each other’s development in genuine partnership – a key goal of the 2030 Agenda as well.
H.E. Dr. Zarif assured Dr. Joudane of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ full support for the implementation of the new UNFPA country programme.
"Iran has made significant strides on many fronts related to population issues," said Dr. Joudane, who is originally from Tunisia. "From working towards enhancing sexual and reproductive health to youth empowerment, UNFPA and its partners can contribute towards the success of the entire 2030 Agenda in Iran."
UNFPA: Delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.